Padres Prospect Interview: Yefri Carvajal

San Diego Padres prospect Yefri Carvajal was standing at the batter's box with a bat on his shoulder. The stick never left that spot, as he calmly watched pitches go by. The development of Carvajal is attached to that simple drill.

How important was it for you to just watch pitches without swinging in the bullpen during instructs this offseason?

Yefri Carvajal: When I see more pitches, my approach will be better and I won't be swinging at bad pitches. It was hard to lay off that pitch down and away last year because my stance wasn't any good. Now, I am much better. I see the breaking ball better. I worked hard on it in instructs and the Dominican to be better.

In 2007, you were the MVP of instructs but did not do as well during the 2008 season and got into bad habits with your swing. Can you bring the success of the 2008 instructs into the season?

Yefri Carvajal: I feel a lot better. I have been woring on my mechanics and recognizing the pitches better.

How did the cold weather affect you early in the year at Fort Wayne?

Yefri Carvajal: In the beginning of last season, I didn't feel good. I felt bad and uncomfortable. In the Dominican, we have good weather and it is never cold. When I played in Fort Wayne, the first two months were too cold. I couldn't swing. My hands were cold – everything.

You drew three walks in an instructional league game – the first time you have ever had three walks. Was that big for you?

Yefri Carvajal: Yes, seeing more pitches is going to help me become a better hitter.

You also led the team in extra base hits at Instructs. Did that show you that staying away from the breaking ball away would lead to positive/good results?

Yefri Carvajal: I think my power is better because my stance is better and gives me balance. Sometimes I hit the ball bad back but now I am hitting the ball out front.

When you first came to Arizona, your work in the outfield was good. Then you went to Eugene and experienced night baseball for the first time and had some struggles.

Yefri Carvajal: It was a little bit hard. In the Dominican, we didn't play in front of a lot of fans. When I played here in Arizona, there was no one here. I went to Eugene and the stadium was full. I was a little overwhelmed but now am better.

I need to work on reading the ball better off the bat and going back on my routes and coming forward to get the ball.

You have learned English very well over the last few years. Does learning the language give you an advantage over other players coming from Latin America?

Yefri Carvajal: For me, it is very important. When the coach talks to me, I understand. When I have problems, I can talk and get an answer.

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